The title Bordeaux, when we talk about red wine, encompasses a wide range of wines: cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec and petit verdot as single varietal wines or as any blend of two or more, usually with cabernet sauvignon or merlot as the dominant grape. I’m no mathematician so my brain boggles at the potential number of combinations that could result from a set of five master wines, but I do know it’s a lot.

It’s interesting that the majority of our wines are cabernet sauvignon either as single varietals or as part of a blend. The most-grown red grape in the world, cabernet sauvignon is thick skinned, resilient and renowned for its versatility, agebility and those remarkable tannins that give intensity and structure. It makes up a small fraction of what we do here in cool-climate New Zealand, so it’s particularly gratifying to see a Waiheke wonder taking the top spot, with warmer- climate competitors strong in the mix.

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